In 2021, United Women of East Africa created a program aimed to assist participants better prepare for college through targeted programming. The Journey Through Success program provided college readiness preparation for students who limited access, first-generation, and had little to no information regarding college or higher education. Many of our program participants shared that they do not have information such as degree exploration, student loans, and financial aid. United Women of East Africa is in a unique position where they can provide youth with programs that can help them achieve their academic goals.
The program continues to help students in ways such as: filling out college applications, job applications, creating resumes and cover letters, and personal statements. United Women of East Africa offers workshops aimed to build on and develop skills that are intended to better prepare students. To engage participants further, we intentionally invite guest speakers from local college campuses trained in career readiness and degree exploration to present on different various topics such as: life skills, financial literacy, credit and investing.
Participants shared that they really enjoy that this program engages their interests outside of college readiness. Students feel like they could relate to our home lives and how we grew up, but they were more inspired to educate themselves on the opportunities to continue their education past highschool because they were able to see other young, East African adolescents in their community become successful.
To highlight a few key milestones, Journey Through Success had 20 participants who will be enrolling in University this Fall 2022 semester. 10 participants who will be enrolling in local Community Colleges, and several participants who were able to get scholarships and internships as a result of working with our program.
Being an East African youth in the United States today is not a simple life. These children deal with the traditional difficulties of adolescence combined with racial, ethnic and religious tensions as well as integrating the culture of their parents into their American childhood. Because of this, many children feel overwhelmed by these pressures and too often these same children find themselves a victim of substance abuse and other negative influences. In order to make a change in our community, we need to be the change that we wish to see in the community.
At United Women of East Africa, we measure our program success by how many lives we impact. We are thrilled to see the success in our programming by the amount of participants who attend our events, as well as the number of participants who move onto higher education institutions.